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Pulling in a large, energetic crowd for a late, mid-week concert in a small venue can be a daunting task for any band, but based off of the powerful performances from Husky and Hannah Georgas last night at Great Scott, it was evident that both of them were up to the challenge.
To start the night off, Georgas and her band took the stage. Packed with their signature big sounds and Georgas’s strong vocals, the group succeeded in both setting the tone for the evening as well as getting the somewhat sparse crowd to their feet. After playing through a series of upbeat songs from her newest self-titled album, she captured the audiences’ attention by introducing her fourth song,“Ode to Mom,” with the description that she “wrote it for [my] mom remembering [my] dad,” which almost humorously directly fell into the foot-stomping, beat-driven track “Somebody”. Towards the middle of her set, Georgas addressed the crowd saying, “This is our second to last show with Husky so I’m feeling a little gloomy… I think the band is too.” Notwithstanding the somber announcement, the group was able to sustain the energy they exuded from the beginning through a full nine track set. By the end of the final song, “Waiting Game,” Georgas seemed to have the crowd sufficiently warmed up and excited for the rest of the evening.
Despite the bill which had advertised DJ Carbo as a second opening act, Husky began their set only twenty minutes or so following Georgas. Keeping fit with their warm, relaxed sound, all members of the Melbourne, Australian based ban wore casual clothing and mingled about the audience prior to coming onstage. Unfortunately for the group, during the band transition a good amount of crowd members who had previously been standing had returned to their drinks or their conversation, forcing the band to work to vie for their attention rather than the other way around.
However, the somewhat small group that had formed around the stage listened intently as the band broke into their first and more popular track, “Tidal Wave.” The song, mellow, yet containing a fairly enveloping sound, was the perfect way to transition from Georgas’s set to Husky’s. The second song they played, “Hundred Dollar Suit,” was a bit livelier and caused those standing around the stage to dance more freely. “This is our first time in Boston,” lead singer and frontman Husky Gawenda, said in between songs. “We’ve been fantasizing about the accents… B-ahston,” he pronounced, his Australian accent working to adapt a faux-Boston one, “I play guit-ah.”
Throughout the night, the group played a series of songs mostly from their newly released album, Forever So, which range in musical styles from alternative to pop to more electronic to indie folk. Their ninth track was even prefaced by a full 3-minute classical-sounding piano riff from their keyboardist which folded clevely into their folky track, “The Woods”. At another point, they delved into an elongated instrumental section which included guitar picking, a keyboard melody, and a beat of steady percussion. When talking about their tracks, it’s also clear that the themes behind the songs are almost as complex and loaded as the musicality they contain; “It’s about those fleeting moments in time that can stay with you forever,” Gawenda said about their title-track.
By the middle their set, it was evident that this group is talented and impressive to watch. Despite the smaller crowd, the band seemed genuinely grateful to be onstage. When saying thank-yous to fellow band members and audio-workers, Gawenda also directed his attention to the audience, “The biggest thanks of all is to you guys,” he said, “we’re a long way from home… it’s really nice to see some really nice, sweet people out there.” For the final song, the Hannah Georgas rejoined the stage and the group all collaborated their vocals to sing through a cover of Billie Holiday’s, “Lover Come Back to Me.” Towards the last refrain, Gawenda stated to the crowd, “You have to sing with us with Boston accents!” Finally recognizing the group’s impressive performance and beginning to bundle closer around the stage, the audience was happy to oblige.
After the show, I was left somewhat disappointed that the group hadn’t generated a bigger crowd or that such a small amount of people know about this terrific band, yet also overwhelmed by such a great respect for what talented performers and musicians they are and excited to see where they go next.